How to Delete & Disable Significant Locations Data on Mac

Sep 5, 2019 - 3 Comments

How to disable and clear Significant Locations on Mac

Want to clear and disable Significant Locations data stored on your Mac? For some quick background, your Mac will attempt to determine what locations are significant to you in order to provide you with location related information for Maps, Photos, Calendars, and with other apps too. These stored places are referred to as “Significant Locations” and can be very helpful for traffic and directions predictions, along with other location related assistance.

Some Mac users may prefer to disable the Significant Locations feature and clear any existing Significant Locations data from the Mac, and this tutorial will show you how to do that.

How to Clear & Disable Significant Locations on Mac

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and go to “System Preferences” and then go to the “Security & Privacy” preference panel
  2. Choose the “Privacy” tab and then choose “Location Services”, then click the lock icon in the corner to authenticate and unlock the ability to make changes
  3. Scroll down to find ‘System Services’ and click on “Details”
  4. How to clear and disable Significant Locations on Mac

  5. Locate the ‘Significant Locations’ settings and click on “Details” to see a list of any and all stored significant location data on the Mac
  6. How to clear and disable Significant Locations on Mac

  7. To clear all Significant Locations history, click on the “Clear History” button
  8. How to clear and disable Significant Locations on Mac

  9. Confirm that you want to clear significant locations from the Mac as well as from all other devices signed into the same Apple ID (for example, any other Macs, iPhones, iPads, etc)
  10. How to clear and disable Significant Locations on Mac and other devices using same Apple ID

  11. Uncheck the box for “Significant Locations” then click on “Done” and exit out of System Preferences as usual
  12. How to disable Significant Locations on Mac

While you’re in the Location Services section of Mac system preferences, you might also decide to manage and control which apps can use location data on Mac. It can also be helpful to show the Location Usage icon in the Mac menu bar to be able to easily determine what an app or service is using your computers location data. If you never use any location specific data or services from the computer whatsoever, you can also completely disable all Location Services on Mac, but that is not recommended for most people.

It’s important to note that Apple says that Significant Locations are encrypted and cannot be read by Apple, so if you’re worried about the feature for any reason related to that, you probably shouldn’t be. Nonetheless there are many privacy and security conscious users out there who would rather minimize their location usage footprint, or even not have any type of location data kept or stored at all, regardless of its purpose.

As with all settings on the Mac, you can always reverse this decision and re-enable Significant Locations on the Mac again. Note that re-enabling significant locations will not bring back any cleared prior significant location data, however.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Security, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Hunter says:

    I got the same error message as Doug.

    However, I unchecked, “Location-Based Apple Ads”, directly below “Significant Locations”, and then I was allowed to clear my locations.

  2. Doug says:

    When I follow your advice I see an Apple message telling me ‘Significant Locations could not be cleared’.

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